A Christian scientist and Bible scholar says Harold Camping and his followers need to look into science to read the Bible's message correctly, after the California radio host wrongly predicted the end of the world in 1994 and again on May 21.
Camping, who now claims the world will end on Oct. 21, and his followers need to study the Bible in a more scientific context and in the light of recent discoveries, since the Californian's theory is very "19th century," Jeffrey Goodman told The Christian Post Tuesday.
"In the book of Daniel it says 'Put these things away' – he's talking about the prophecies – 'till the time at the end when knowledge increases.' Well, knowledge has increased, but unfortunately a lot of people – when it comes to the subject of Bible prophecy – have not kept up with the increased knowledge," Goodman said. "The increased knowledge, instead of detracting (from) the Word of God, enhances it and puts it on a stronger footing."
Camping's followers, Goodman suggested, are so averse to "learning things from science or archeology," they hold on to theories and interpretations that, in the face of new information, are "woefully incorrect."
To make it clear, Goodman, an anthropologist, independent archeologist and Christian, also believes that the Bible holds a few clues as to the nature and time of the end of the world.
"The problem," the scientist said, "is in the details."
His latest book, The Comets of God, examines Scripture in the light of advancements in archeology, history, linguistics, geology and astronomy. The research led Goodman to believe that a comet will cause the biblical apocalypse.
In The Comets of God, Goodman attempts to tackle what in his view are the common misconceptions regarding what the Bible says about end times. He told CP that many people also wrongly believe that the end will be caused by nuclear weapons, because of all the references to fire coming from the sky found in the book of Revelation. In fact, Goodman explained, a comet will cause the end of the world.
"God does not need man's weapons to accomplish his ends," he told CP. "What we have had in the Old Testament, in some of these miraculous catastrophic events, were comet impacts."
Goodman suggests in his writings that the seven trumpets and seven vials mentioned in the book of Revelation are comets, not nuclear bombs. He backs his theories with scientific knowledge and facts, like the discovery of new impact craters in Iraq eight years ago, he told CP.
"The Bible has anticipated many of the discoveries that science is now making about the real world," Goodman told CP.
Goodman also attempts to disprove the belief held by evangelicals who study the prophetic writings that Russia is the evil empire from Ezekiel 38-39 that will attack Israel during the end times.
"I constantly hear pastors repeat that," Goodman told CP. "And it's simply not true."
The Comets of God offers scientific explanations for the catastrophic events prophesied in the Bible.
"Many prophetic passages suddenly make sense in terms of scientific reality once we recognize that much of Revelation's mysterious imagery is describing different types of comet impact," reads the book description on the author's website.
Goodman's previous book, American Genesis, offers a theory about man's early appearance in the Americas. Another of the author's books, The Genesis Mystery, presents new evidence in the argument of creation versus evolution as far as the appearance of modern man goes.
Goodman holds a professional degree in geological engineering, a Master's degree in anthropology from the University of Arizona, an M.B.A. degree from Columbia University Graduate School of Business and a Ph.D. in anthropology from California Coast University.